Yesterday I had an epiphany of sorts. I am actually living the expat dream lifestyle. It’s not exactly the expat lifestyle most dream of, but it’s a realistic lifestyle that has a lot more perks than your average 9 to 5 working day. My dream has always revolved around writing and travel and now, at 64 years of age, my freelance writing dream is coming true. Can you live the freelance writing dream? If I can, I don’t see why not, but a dose of reality when you’re starting out will help. You need to seize freelance writing opportunities and focus on your goals, just as you do with any other career.
I’ll save myself some writing time by referring you to a blog I just wrote on my other site. How to Live the Freelance Writing Dream is largely a pitch for MatadorU, but I wrote it with genuine conviction because:
- I’ve seen too many people fail at making their expat dreams come true because they thought it would be easy: it isn’t.
- The MatadorU Travel Writing Course doesn’t pretend to be a “turnkey system” for success, but does cover everything you need to know to get started and offers great support.
- While travel writing is a narrow niche, it’s the one most long-term travellers and expats want to fill. If you start writing about something you’re interested in, you’re more likely to continue with it.
I rarely write about travel any more. I write about home improvements, natural therapies, materials handling equipment and other odds and ends, but I write about them from my desk overlooking palm trees or, when I need a break from my home office, from a beachfront café. It was after nodding off to sleep in a lounge chair on Otres Beach that my mini-epiphany came to me. As I looked out at this view in front of me,
I realised that except for the fact that the young men and women in the MatadorU ads are much younger and better looking than I, the message in the ads isn’t all hype: it’s actually possible to live the freelance writing dream and I am living proof of that. Those words in red were the epiphany.
I wrote the following in my introductory paragraph:
It’s not exactly the expat lifestyle most dream of, but it’s a realistic lifestyle that has more perks than your average 9 to 5 working day.
I often wonder why so many expats are so unhappy. The answer came to me while writing recently. The topic I was writing about was the psychology of happiness. Numerous studies have virtually proven that one of the most important ingredients of happiness is meaningful work. That, I think, is why so many expats are unhappy. They come here or to another “tropical paradise” dreaming of finding happiness in hanging out all day doing nothing. Doing nothing wears off quickly, though.
The happiest expats I’ve met are those that are working. Writing may not be your dream, but if it is, I think if you take a good writing course like the one offered by MatadorU, you can find much better freelance writing opportunities than I did at first. If you have talent and a good story to sell, you may even be able to get started without taking a course first. MatadorU is offering a freebie for those who sign up for their newsletter. Sign up, get 15 Paying Travel Magazines and give it a shot. If nothing else, it’s a step in the right direction and their free newsletters are big on information, light on sales hustle.